I don’t think there were a lot of crestfallen souls in the McCain Campaign HQ at Monday night’s news. Let’s face it: They were lucky to land the endorsement of half the Dems’ 2000 ticket.
In Flint, Michigan, Monday, Al Gore finally stepped up to the podium and endorsed the man who vanquished his ex-boss’ wife. “After eight years of incompetence, neglect and failure, we need change,” Gore told the crowd. “After eight years when our Constitution has been dishonored and disrespected, we need changes.”
Boo ya. That’s the kind of speech that has Democrats the nation over reaching for the bottle of bourbon.
Where was this passion in 2000? Never mind Ralph Nader, never mind Florida, never mind the Supreme Court. As dirty and unfortunate as 2000 settled, as many people who went for Nader, and as much as the Supreme Court abrogated the majority’s self-proclaimed determination to keep their noses out of states’ rights, this wouldn’t even be a discussion we would still be having if Al Gore had run a better campaign and won his home state.
But that’s a discussion for another year, long ago, that we can’t take back. He lost, and–after the unfortunate beard thing–he’s comported himself quite well in the intervening years. A Nobel Prize and an Academy Award aren’t too bad. And just like he took the lead in creating the Internet (which he really did; as pioneer geeks Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn acknowledge, “As the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore’s contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.” So suck it, right-wing haters. Now can we please move on?), Al Gore took the lead in telling us that our frozen world is melting, that we’re killing the polar bears, and after The Netherlands is gone, maybe we’ll finally cop to the fact that the world is getting warmer to our peril.
What struck me in anticipation of and after Gore’s endorsement of Senator Obama was the frothing on the left that this was Gideon’s Trumpet, and that Al Gore was going to offer himself not merely as Barack Obama’s endorser, but as his Vice Presidential nominee, and that it’s all over but the Obama Inaugural.
Okay. Inhale, exhale. Repeat after me:
This. Won’t. Happen.
What in God’s name would possess the man to make this so?
I’m talking, of course, about both men. Barack Obama would be insane to make this choice, even if it were a possibility. It’s healthy as a potential Chief Executive to surround yourself with the smart and talented, as they’ll only make you look better at the end of the day. It’s quite another to be Coldplay and ask U2 to be your opening band. Yes, they’re older, but you’re hotter, and everyone will naturally focus their attention on you. Right?
This is all convoluted Fantasy Football conjecturing on the part of presumably well-meaning Democrats. “You know, if we could have FDR and the Bull Moose version of Teddy Roosevelt on one ticket, we’d freaking cream the Republicans. Better yet, what if we had Tiger Woods and Tim Russert, if he hadn’t died–can you imagine how cool that would be???…Oh wait, how about Cthulhu and Mr. Spock? Mr. Spock would be very rational and comforting, and Cthulhu would be, like, really strong on national defense.”
On the other side, why in God’s name would Al Gore allow himself to be considered for the job he already did for eight years? You’ve had a dazzling seven years travelling the world and sipping the finest coffees the globe has to offer. How do you think it’s going to enhance your life returning to your years-ago position as an assistant barista?
Al Gore not only isn’t stupid, but he has far better things to do with his time and his fame.
I understand his possible bitterness at having missed the job that he thought would be his from his days as a party Wunderkind in 1988. But he’s long enough in the tooth now, and far richer from his time out of the pit to realize that there’s no way on God’s Earth he’d want to go back down this road again. This isn’t the CEO at Burger King donning a smock for an afternoon and showing solidarity with his Great Unwashed, flipping burgers with them before his handlers corral him under the auspices of a following engagement, and getting the hell out of this hellhole. This is going back to $7.15 an hour for the long-haul, and getting yelled at by an 18-year-old Assistant Manager named Trey.
I’ll always welcome alternate viewpoints, but you’re going to have to work pretty hard for my acknowlegement. Please try, though.